RIT Gannett Lecture Looks at the Globalization of Commodities, March 25

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Introducing American cultural commodities—such as soft drinks—to non-Western consumers can vary in success depending on how well corporations did their anthropological homework.

Anthropologist Robert Foster will give his talk, “Globalization: Soft Drink Perspective,” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in Webb Auditorium in the James E. Booth Building at Rochester Institute of Technology. The free and public talk is part of RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Lecture Series sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts.

The title of Foster’s talk comes from a chapter in his book, Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption and Media in Papua New Guinea (2002).

Foster, associate professor and chair of anthropology at University of Rochester, has studied Coca Cola’s experience in Papua New Guinea and how the people there experience the American soft drink.

“This is a recurrent theme in the transfer of goods—Westerners with their particular ideas encountering markets that operate differently than their expectations,” says Paul Grebinger, Gannett lecturer and coordinator of senior seminar at RIT.

Two anthropologists will lead a discussion following the talk. They are Christine Kray, assistant professor of anthropology at RIT, and John Rhoades, chair and associate professor of anthropology, and director of the Peace Studies Program at St. John Fisher College.

For more information, call 475-2057 or visit www.rit.edu/gannettseries.